This special FHE lesson teaches us how a new prophet is chosen when one passes away.
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
1. We thank thee, O God, for a prophet
To guide us in these latter days.
We thank thee for sending the gospel
To lighten our minds with its rays.
We thank thee for every blessing
Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee
And love to obey thy command.
2. When dark clouds of trouble hang o’er us
And threaten our peace to destroy,
There is hope smiling brightly before us,
And we know that deliv’rance is nigh.
We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.
We’ve proved him in days that are past.
The wicked who fight against Zion
Will surely be smitten at last.
3. We’ll sing of his goodness and mercy.
We’ll praise him by day and by night,
Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
And bask in its life-giving light.
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know.
Before teaching this lesson, you will need 16 objects to represent Church leadership. We suggest using plastic cups with photos taped on them or the names of the leaders written out. You may also leave off names and photos entirely and simply label the objects by their calling.
Begin the lesson by explaining what each object represents: a prophet, two counselors, and the Quorum of the Twelve. Consider placing them in a pyramid shape to help show the distinctions.
Read aloud: Because God loves us, he has provided us with an organized church. Being organized is important. It brings us peace, so when something changes, we don’t have to become worried or scared.
Tonight, we are going to talk about what happens when a prophet dies. Heavenly Father has given us revelation on how the church will continue to run.
Remove the top cup, representing the prophet. Take the two cups for the remaining members of the First Presidency and put them back with the other twelve cups. If you’d like, you can line them up based on seniority.
When a prophet dies, his two counselors merge back into the Quorum of the Twelve. They organize themselves based on who has been an apostle the longest. Until a new prophet is called, these fourteen men work together to lead the church.
They also decide when it is time to reorganize the First Presidency, which includes calling a new prophet. They unanimously decide on a who the prophet should be. The prophet then selects his new counselors and the process of choosing a new apostle begins.
Move the three cups again to show the reformed First Presidency. Add the extra cup in to represent the new apostle. You may use more or less cups to represent multiple new apostles if there are multiple vacancies.
This system is inspired of God and gives us the assurance there will always be a prophet to help us draw closer to heaven.
Finish the lesson by answering questions your children have about the process and bearing your testimony.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Begin the lesson by watching the following video. Before pressing play, ask everyone to think about how having a prophet has blessed their life.
Read aloud: Because of God’s great love for us, the pattern of prophets continues today. Even when a prophet dies, the pattern will continue on. Though the policies surrounding the calling of a new prophet has changed over the years, the general principles of revelation and seniority have remained the same.
Use this following breakdown of events, provided by MormonNewsroom.org, to go over the succession in the church. You can have people read the bullet points, quickly go over them, or ask appropriate questions in-between.
When the president of the Church passes away, the following events take place:
1. The First Presidency is automatically dissolved.
2. The two counselors in the First Presidency revert to their places of seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Seniority is determined by the date on which a person was ordained to the Twelve, not by age.
3. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, now numbering 14 and headed by the senior apostle, assumes Church leadership.
4. The senior apostle presides at a meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve to consider two alternative propositions:
i. Should the First Presidency be reorganized at this time?
ii. Should the Church continue to function with the Quorum of the Twelve presiding?
5. After discussion, a formal motion is made and accepted by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
6. If a motion to reorganize the First Presidency is passed, the Quorum of the Twelve unanimously selects the new president of the Church. The new president chooses two counselors and the three of them become the new First Presidency. Throughout the history of the Church, the longest-serving apostle has always become the president of the Church when the First Presidency has been reorganized.
7. Following the reorganization of the First Presidency, the apostle who has served the second longest is sustained as the president of the Quorum of the Twelve. When the second-longest-serving apostle has also been called into the First Presidency as a counselor, the third-longest-serving apostle becomes acting president of the Twelve.
8. The president of the Quorum of the Twelve, along with the rest of the apostles, sets apart* the new president of the Church through a formal laying on of hands.
Ask: How does this process strengthen your testimony? What does it teach us about God and his church?
Finish the lesson by answering questions and bearing your testimony.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Read through the following article about the succession in the church. Then, write in your study journal why you are grateful for prophets.
It is not too late to enjoy a year of inspiration! This special calendar features 313 pages of LDS quotes, scriptures, historical facts, and more. The small size makes it perfect for a counter top, desk, or office space. It is available exclusively here.
Fruity Pebbles Cookies
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 ½ sticks of butter (1+1/2)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups Fruity Pebbles cereal
2-1/4 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk together baking soda and flour and set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugars. Add the pudding package and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour and mix until just combined. Stir in Fruity Pebbles and white chocolate chips.
- Scoop 1” balls and place on your cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool,
Special Witnesses of Christ
Sit down together as a family and watch through the special videos created by modern-day prophets and apostles. You can access them all here.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.